There are a few critical factors that will affect your survival in a very hazardous or life threatening situations.
The rule of 3 that we are talking about here is just the basic outlines that we need in order to survive. There is a higher rate of survival if these are followed. If ignored, there is a high probability of a not so good ending to say the least.
3 seconds without HOPE: This basically means that if you lack the will to live, nothing can ever save you. In all situations when you lack the will to live, everything else will go downhill from there. If a person gives up any situation will get worse.
Always maintain a positive attitude whether you are alone or with others. Just breathe, calm down and think. Carrying a photo of the people you love will help you a lot during these times.
3 minutes without AIR: Average people can only go 3 minutes without air to say the least. Going 3 minutes without air may cause permanent brain damage to a normal person, within 5 minutes you will already be dead.
Having a bandana or a big handkerchief always with you comes very handy in situations like this. This will help you filter out bad elements in the air when breathing and may save your life.
3 hours without SHELTER: When you are out in the open, the elements can be a killer. Hypothermia and heat stroke are your worst enemies in situations like this.
Knowing how to build a shelter from scratch will be your best defense at this point. Picking out the perfect spot for a makeshift shelter will also be essential. Using the things around you will help you a lot in making a shelter. Sticks, leaves or even the mud are very useful in these situations.
3 days without WATER: This is an absolute rule. 3 days without water will lead to dehydration—the effects of which will start with the first 3 hours. Within the 3rd day, you will find yourself dead. Yes, there are a lot of water sources in the wild or anywhere to be precise but remember that drinking contaminated water can be as fatal as going 3 days without it.
Educating yourself with water purification or making your very own solar still will be the difference between life and death.
3 weeks without FOOD: Food provides us with the energy we need to do the things that we do in a day to day basis. Going without food in a prolonged period of time can be fatal. Even decreased intake of food will negatively affect the performance your body.
Learning to hunt and forage for food will be essential in this case. Once you learn how to do these things you should not have any problem at all.
The rule of 3 is only intended as a guide. There are other situations where a person may be able to survive some of the situations mentioned above a little longer. For other like food and water, it’s somewhat impossible. Skills, knowledge and practice is the best tool that you have to survive all of the above situations.